Title: Norse Jewel
Author: Gina Conkle
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Historical Romance
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About the Book:
Two lives collide when Helena, a captive Frankish woman, finds herself in desperate need. Hakan, the Viking chieftain who takes her, has plans…to lay down his sword and live a quiet farmer’s life.
Trouble brews when Helena, not born a slave, longs for freedom, and the chieftain who bought her longs for peace. They discover one surprise after another that hot Viking summer. But, will deceit and old loyalties destroy what is their greatest discovery…each other?
Who doesn’t love a bit of Viking? I’ve been mildly obsessed since History Channel did their show, and finding a story that manages to incorporate that alpha-dominated sexiness with a new perspective is a great treat!
Helena is captured during a raid when the man she believed loved her turned tail and ran – leaving her to the mercy of the Danes. Removed from the home and family she knows, unable to communicate, scared and traumatized and very much alone. When she makes a friend in Sestra, she is told that escape is impossible and the best treatment will be obtained if she uses her body to trade and gain favors.
Hakan is a chieftan and Helena’s intense gaze draw his attention, where he purchases her from the slave market the Danes are holding to care for his farm as he is off exploring, fighting and being chieftan. With Helena in his possession, word reaches him that trouble is afoot, and he must hasten to sort the problem and face his adulterous ex-wife in hope to see his son Erik.
The longer the two are in contact, the more their connection becomes apparent: from a simple physical tension and awareness to a true sense of companionship. As they learn to communicate with one another, and argue, the connection and regard between the two increases, even as Hakan won’t share his reasons for distancing himself.
What emerges from Conkle’s writing is a relationship between the two that could be quite contentious: but the underlying sadness that Hakan feels in his separation from his son will not allow him to treat Helena unkindly, as she too is missing home and family. To release her from servitude and bring her home, despite his inability to see life without her in it is both the most heart breaking and romantic passage I have read in a long time. To love someone enough to let them go, despite the pain you personally will feel makes a beautiful climax to the story arc, leaving only one question which you will have to read the book to get your answer – no spoilers here.
This was a smoothly written, highly entertaining and enjoyable sweeter romance with incredibly well-defined sexual tension, characters and world-building. With some steamy kisses and fondling, all of the graphic bits are left to reader’s imagination: and with characters as well defined in your imagination it will not be difficult to let imagination run wild. Fans of romance and alpha males will appreciate this story, and if you are testing the waters with historical romance: this is a great start.
I received an eBook from Entangled via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
About the Author:
Gina’s a lover of history, books and romance, which makes the perfect recipe for historical romance writer. Her passion for castles and old places (the older and moldier the better!) means interesting family vacations. Good thing her husband and two sons share similar passions, except for romance…that’s where she gets the eye roll. When not visiting fascinating places, she can be found in southern California delving into the latest adventures of organic gardening and serving as chief taxi driver.